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approaching a platform like this. you can tell that i am looking for composition and certain themes that a photographer is driven to seek. these are just words. my first book that i did of this work i just opened it and i didn't want an essay or anything like that. and i just came up with key words like on a blog or a website, and i wanted the words all over the place, positive and negative all of it. basically american words, cheese berger, vegas, hooker. levee, armed forces. this is sort of the america that i have running through my head and it is filled with lots of themes and conflicting ideals and unifying ideals.
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and human ideals and material ideals. all of it. so i just did the brain storm over a week or so and just kept jotting down words and i keep sort of riffing into the american themes and this is a screen shot. and thes an archive and it is massive and i think that we are as artists are going to be sifting through the archives and how can you not when there are images being created and every has a digital slr in their hand or a camera in their phone and everyone can make a good picture now not everyone, but it is not, it gos beyond that and i can that we are going to look backwards as much as forwards. we are having all of this information in front of us. and people will sift through it, and bring ideas for it. and this is the utmost
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importance. and you can have the titles and they are pretty loaded, right? and it is something that interests me and i guess the loaded cop i cans in america to put it mildly interesting. the overhauled it and i published this site. and it is a huge archive and i looked at it as unlimited possibilities for editing and archiving and curating and publishing and i thought it was just amazing that i have the power at my fingertips to do anything that i wanted without any sort of limits only right here was the only limit and so the site really features other people's work and i don't put my work on it and it is basically, i thought, what can i do something like interview magazine like warhol did? i have the tools and i started five years ago and it has grown into huge proportions, i think
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when i checked there are 150,000 unique visitors a month reading it. so it has gotten quite an audience, but really it is something that i would love, it is just pure passion and it is also a self-education of mine on display and my own interest. and i think i will wrap it up. thanks. [ applause ] >> so for those of you who came in late, if you could hold your questions, we are not going to do a formal q, and a, but i will ask each of the panelists to stick around and if you want to chat with them one on one, they will be veil for a little while to do that. our next panelist is melissa. they earned her ba in 2005 and her ma in 2007. she worked in new york at
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christie's auction house and the time warner center, the museum experience includes the research positions in new york and the victor annual beter museum in london. she has been a member of the curtorial team of san francisco since 2008. and currently holds the position of assistant curator for european art. it has supported works from the 15th century, such as the mourners, cultures from the court of bergandy to the 19th century, including van gogh, and beyond master pieces. and she served as the assistant curator for the blockbuster, girl with the pearl earrings, including impressionists on the water and matice from sf mona
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to be honored later this year. we invited melissa to speak because he told me that his cloud series was inspired by growing up looking at dramatic skies in dutch landscape painting. welcome. >> thank you to everyone who came out this evening to the main branch of the public library, i felt like it was encased in a cloud with all of the fog and the rain and everything and so i have literally taken on this assignment with a great personal interest and i am seeing clouds everywhere. and when they first called one morning, and introduced herself and told me a little bit about this panel and this project i thought great, i know about clouds i see them every day and i work at the legend of honor, exposed to the sea with the massive mountains and clouds and i thought a piece of cake
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and i will just talk about clouds. it became a much deeper project but i started this talk thinking about my own biographical relationship with clouds and i was trolling through the photos on the computer and i realized that a lot of the moments that i felt important to capture, have something to do with the drama of the sky and the clouds and so here i did my masters degree in london and this is where i did a lot of research. and you get these amazing low lying clouds and of course this all resonates with the paintings that i look at and the work that i curate and this is the region of honor looking out across the golden gate bridge where we get some of the most dramatic and beautiful skies. and i recently had the opportunity to go to the
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national gallery of art in washington, d.c. and i was walking through the gallery and i got totally photo happy taking these pictures of clouds. and i realized that i needed to self-curate and refine it because when i was flying home to san francisco i was taking pictures of the clouds outside of the window of the plane and i thought that i just need to synthesize this and i did a little bit of looking around of what other art historians have said about clouds and land scapes there is a wonderful series called the met connections and the met museum of art has created this of talking about themes or other ideas that have to do with their permanent collection and of course, what did determine the european paintings department and assisting in nothing other than clouds. so i am in pretty big company here trying to talk about 550 years of clouds and art. but i will do my best in 15
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minutes. i also found out in talking about clouds and conversation with other curators that there was an exhibition of the center for british art that existed the work of a man named mark lenard who was a painting at the getty museum and now at dal ace and he has worked on constable clouds and was so inspired by the work that he has done that he actually responded to the clouds in his own works. so clouds are very timely topic on many forums. and i just wanted to show you an exam el, the many, many types of studies of clouds trying to understand their three dimensionality and not giving you anything else on the composition other than the shapes of the clouds. even though the picture was made in 1822 it is very
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contemporary without the space. >> and back to the point of self-curating, and i started to think as an art historic when i became aware of clouds, when i start to think about them? we did an exhibition in 2011 at the duyong new see um which some of you may have seen was drawn from the collection in vienna and i brought an essay including saint sabastian and there is a detail in the clouds where you have a rider in the clouds. and art historians have not been able to agree on exactly what this figure is it a king, is it someone from mythology, but in any case, he has taken that childhood pass time of trying to see the shapes in the clouds and has created the shapes in the clouds of this painting. >> and some of you may have also seen our current
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exhibition with the girl with the pearl ear ring, there are not any clouds in this composition and i could not fabricate them and so i wanted to speak about this painting that is also in the collection of the maritz house it actually has three competitions and this was probably the most famous in the works in the collection up until the publication of the novel girl with the pearl ear ring and i will be doing a conversation with her next thursday, the 28th and that will be live google plus streamed. all sorts of fun technology. but before the publication of her book, and the subsequent film, this was probably one of the most famous compositions by verm ere, certainly the most famous, and has three paintings and i love that the way that the clouds hang so low and it is actually much darker on my screen, but this kind of
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balance between the rain clouds and the white pufffy clouds and the way that they interacts with the buildings in the city. this competes with two other paintings in the exhibition and i will not say which ones they are and it competes for my favorite painting in the exhibition it is view of harlem with bleaching grounds in the foregrounds and one of the most important innovations for the 17th century, dutch landscape painters was the way that they approached the sky. for any of you who have traveled to the netherlands you know that there is a low horizon line and i have been told that the dutch people and i can be corrected. that they call their clouds the dutch mountains because the landscape is so low that really you get these massive clouds in the sky and that is the kind of important topography to talk
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about. this is another example by the same artist and it is a winter scene, and as i move through these images of different paintings from various national schools. i don't want to talk too much over them but to let you feel how the atmosphere and the mood is changed by the different kinds of clouds that the artists have chosen to depict. and i wanted to also var clearly indicate it was interesting when putting together this powerpoint, i don't typically like to put any words on the images on the slides because i like the images in that way to speak for themselves, i feel like your eye competes between the words and images but i felt that it was important to differentiate between what is in our current exhibition and our permanent collection. so this is in the temporary exhibition as well. and then i wanted to let the paintings and the temporary
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exhibition and our permanent collection speak to each other and i started going through the permanent collection thinking about all of the ways that the clouds are represented in paintings starting with this early 16th century paintings by an artist nameds chima and i liked the way that the cloud offers like an extension of his halo and then you have this dramatic painting where the clouds are parting and it is like he is parting the red sea in the sky in this dramatic and emotional way that the clouds are not just offering but a part of the action and a part of the drama. and then you have got somebody like el greco who uses the clouds in this really violent and really nervous and really tense way. the clouds are vibrating with energy and they surround the figure of st. john the baptist in this very expressive way.
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so different than the other kinds of clouds that we were just looking at. and this is a painting by a norwegian artist named doll and i liked it because we have a nighttime scene and so you think about seeing the clouds in the daytime or the rain clouds or competitions of clouds that are over beautiful land scapes but what do the clouds do in this picture, when we are looking at the moon through the view of the clouds? and this is a painting that is particularly close to my heart. it is mid victor an artist named john martin and this painting is his depiction of the aftermath of the great biblical floods and so the clouds and waters are parting and you can't see it in this slide reproduction but in the actual painting very far in the horizon line you have noah and the arc. but the way that the clouds almost start to take on a figural representation, it is like there is a movement of
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hope and promise coming in the sky and of course the skies have this long history of being associated with the heavens and mythology. and you can't talk about clouds without talking about the impressionists. also on my mind since we are planning for the impressionist on the water exhibition which opens at the legend of honor june first. and this is a painting by the very-well monet and i was thinking back to constible. clouds where you don't get a figure you have a horizon and you get more of a sense of space and it is not just the clouds. but the whole canvas is taken up by water and sky and it is very architectural wave that he has construct td the brush work of the waiveds tossing in front of us. and then, imented to talk a little bit about the surrealist and i am about to install these
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paintings into what is traditionally our impressionist gallery. but they are some of the most popular paintings in our collection and when we don't have them i get people asking what have you done with them? and i think that doli's approach to many things is idiocyncratic and these clouds have a view, and they almost seemed figure all to me but they have this really expensive intention for lack of a better way to describe them. i don't know that he would have wanted me describing them. >> i really love this image, and i think as we have heard from the other panelists, clouds and space and landscape have a personal meaning and what we project on them is very subjective and i think that in
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my own attempt to synthesize art history in 15 minutes and looking at clouds and skies, i came to realize that there is a personal vocabary that we project on to these images. and so i felt honored to have participated on this panel and so i feel like it is really changed the way that i look at so many kinds of paintings and i thought about creating a exhibition on clouds and trying to take this project even further and i think that there is really a lot to be said for something that we take for granted perhaps on a daily basis, but much deeper meaning to be read. thank you to meg and the panelists and thank you to the audience. [ applause ]
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>> 550 years in 15 minutes. nicely done. i want to thank our panelists so much. let's give them a hand. thank you. >> i want to leave you with a few thoughts. conversation six, i don't know if many of you know this, but is our final exhibition in our current space in main gallery in the veteran's building, that whole building is being retrofit for two years. when we reopen in 2015, we will have 4400 square feet. and we have 900 square feet right now. so it is going to be a remarkable new space. and we will be doing a lot of sort of institutional soul searching as to how we can serve the public and create an exhibition program in the large
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new facility that fills in gaps here in our cultural stratta and how we can serve a wide variety of artists and communities, and represent san francisco in a way that we do currently which is by showing regional artists alongside of artists from other places, developing a dialogue between the local, the national and the international. so we will carry that forward in the new facilities. in the meantime we will continue to program at city hall and at the window installation sites. so we are not going dark. we are just, we are putting on hold one of our three different programs. and i want to leave you with one final thought. for the last week bear not has been here and i have been witnessing him make a cloud in the green room of the veteran's building which is on the second floor of that building and
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overlooks for a balcony that overlooks city hall for those of you who have been there for private functions. >> it is an extraordinary room, it is the american pizza hut version of the hall of mirrors one might say. it is a gorgeous room. and we were reviewing the final edit of this new piece that will enter into the nimbus series and it will be on view at the gallery in a couple of weeks and again, watch your e-mail and we will let you know when it arrives and you can come and look at it. there will be two images chosen from this large multiday, one is a large print that will be on view in the gallery and is an addition of six.
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and then, we have been sort of talking about addition size and then there will be a version that is about this big. that is an addition of 30 and available for purchase at a affordable price. so let us know if you are interested in that and watch the e-mail and the funds will go to both support the artist and support the programs at the arts commission as we move forward. so sign up for our eblast and keep in touch and thank you so much for coming tonight. we will hang out for just a little bit and answer questions, and you can come by and see the exhibition wednesday through saturday, 12 to five. thank you so much. >> all right, everyone, want to say thank you all for being here today at balboa park and want to say, first off, thanks
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to the trust for public land who played a key role in renovating balboa park and to put it to be where it is today. and i want to thank you all for your efforts. you know, one of the best parts about being an elected official is the ability to effect change in san francisco in a very positive way. and today i'm very proud to announce that after two years of incredibly hard work on behalf of a lot of people, we are announcing a new project in san francisco to bring free wi-fi to 31 different parks, plazas, and open spaces across our city. from areas such as the marina green to washington square park to sunset playground, all a moe square, civic center, bernal heights to right here in balboa park, this project is going to touch parks and plazas across all of san francisco in every corner of our city. san francisco has been a leader
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in our technology community and our technology economy across our country and now we get to continue to play a role in being a leader bringing technology solutions to improve the lives of our residents here in our city. it's been a privilege to work on this project and to lead this effort the last two years and look forward to bringing the broader vision of free wi-fi across san francisco in the next few years with all the partners behind me today. this has been a strong collaboration on behalf of a lot of partners. in particular, google, sf city, our recreation and park department as well as our department of technology, and i want to thank all of those involved. this project started a little over two years ago with a conversation i had with an old family friend from google. and i want to take a moment to thank the entire google team that worked on this project. it's been two years, so, it's touched a lot of desks and had a lot of approvals and in
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particular want to thank veronika bell who is here from google for stepping p. up. google is providing a financial gift of $600,000 to turn this into a reality. this is with the recreation and park department. i want to thank phil ginsberg, katy, so many people from the rec and park team that really brought this project forward. we selected locations throughout san francisco on a number of levels. first of all, we wanted to make sure that we continue to bridge our digital divide that exists not only throughout our country, but here in san francisco, to place free wi-fi networks in under served communities and across different parts of san francisco. but also to make sure that we provide wi-fi access in some of the most heavily trafficked parks and plazas in our city so we can have the greatest impact throughout our great city. i want to thank sf city for their strong partnership in this project. we started working together a
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little over a year ago. they are not only the leading effect knowledge jai voice in san francisco, but they really stepped up to the plate to be the project manager here who are going to oversee the installation of this project. and i want to thank in particular alex turk for his leadership during this effort. i certainly want to thank our department of technology and its new leader mark tuitu for also stepping up to the plate. mark is such a visionary and i think we have years of great things to come out of our department of technology and this is just the first step. and lastly i want to thank my staff and in particular wherever margo is, mar co-kelly. -- margo kelly. margo spent the last two years quarterbacking this project. she spent so many hours of her life dedicate today bringing this to the residents of san francisco and we shall all be incredibly thankful. the benefits of free wi-fi in san francisco are many.
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not only will it further open up our parks and our city to innovation, to education, and includetionthv i. for all san francisco residents, but it's also as i mentioned before a significant step towards bridging our digital divide in our city. it provides local groups and community residents access to the internet they might not have had before, as well for our rec and park department as phil knows all too well many rec centers still use dial up service. when we think about registering our children for camps and play grounds, what we need to do in our daily lives, but also our government on a daily basis to use technology, this will be an incredible boone to our rec and park department and something we should all be very excited about. in terms of the details of the gift, google is providing a $600,000 financial gift to our city with no strings attached. i think a lot of the prior debate around free wi-fi in san
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francisco that never moved forward was because of different questions about business models or so forth, to emphasize this is a free gift of financial benefit to the city of san francisco with no strings attached. the money will come through sf city which will manage the installation of the wi-fi network from beginning to end, and our department of technology will accept that gift on behalf of the city and county of san francisco. and ultimately rec and park will be the host of the wi-fi network on their properties. and at the end of the day, it's going to be all san francisco residents who benefit from this. after going through all the necessary steps in city hall, the timing right now is that we believe installation will start in december of this year and should be completed by the spring of next year. so, this is going to be a project that will become reality very, very soon for the residents of san francisco. again, on a personal level, i'm incredibly proud to have led this project over the last two years. it's very gratifying that when
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you see an idea from the initial conversation to the project itself to now bring it to reality, to a city and park where i used to play ball in high school, to announce a project, this is something i've been incredibly proud to work on and something we started years ago and finally bringing to reality today. i again want to thank everybody who has been involved. this has been a complete team effort. and certainly want to thank mayor lee for his support during this process. mayor lee has been an incredible friend to our technology community as doing incredible things for our great city. and, mayor lee, i want to thank you and introduce our great mayor, mayor ed lee. (applause) >> thank you, mark. welcome, everybody, to balboa park. and i know we have a couple of hosts and i want to meet and recognize of course our recreation and park department. phil is here. he'll speak in a minute. also recognizing john avalos, our supervisor for this
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district. but often a voice at the board in this city about issues of equity, and that is why i think it's important that we announced it at a place like balboa park. i live here just literally two minutes away, so, i often see this park completely crowded with so many families, especially with all the great improvements that rec and park has put in, in collaboration with the supervisor, because i know that some of his discretionary funding has often gone in to support efforts here and, of course, across the street with the challenges of the -- both the bart and the muni station. but it is all about our neighborhoods. and i go back to what supervisor farrell said, and i want to again thank and appreciate supervisor farrell, his staff margo kelly, another great effort. this is what innovation does in the city. it gets everybody to actually work at even higher levels in government in a public-private
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partnership with companies like google and all the rest of the wonderful members of sf city to do what we can do and to do more than we think we can. in order to bring benefits, bring equity, bridge not only the digital divide, but perhaps bring the whole innovative spirit to every community in san francisco. this is what i think this wi-fi effort of our 31 parks is saying. and the nice thing about it is that when you study what we're going to do here and accomplish with the 31 parks, and that we along with our technology partners, our communications partners, our department leaders, new ones as well as old ones, are saying this is just the beginning. this is literally the beginning of a continued effort to innovate, innovate, and innovate.